TARPON SPRINGS — A knife-wielding man slashed a clerk in the neck during a pharmacy holdup Monday afternoon, police reported.
Tarpon Springs police said Roy Robert Blair, 30, of Holiday entered Anclote Pharmacy at 1933 N Pinellas Ave. just after 4 p.m.
Blair demanded pills from clerk Jordan Bennett, 23, police said, then jumped over the front counter and stabbed Bennett in the neck. The pharmacy's owner then struck Blair with a baseball bat, police said.
Blair appeared to give up, police said, but then gouged Bennett's eyes and ran out of the store. Bennett chased after Blair, but couldn't keep up.
Bennett was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Tarpon Springs police Capt. Jeffrey Young said Bennett was in good condition and was expected to be released.
Tarpon Springs police and Pinellas sheriff's deputies searched for Blair — who was wearing a blue-green Hawaiian-style shirt at the time of the attack — in areas west of the pharmacy.
Later that night, Pasco sheriff's deputies heard reports of a mud-covered man in his underwear in the Holiday Lakes Estates. Authorities found the man in a ditch, and he was identified as the suspect in the pharmacy attack.
Records show Blair has been arrested before in Pasco County on charges of auto burglary and possession of a controlled substance.
He also was listed as a fugitive from Michigan, according to a Pasco arrest report from July.